Even before Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) plagiarism controversies, the senator had developed a disconcerting habit. Whatever else one might think of Paul, and whether folks are concerned with his practice of presenting others’ work as his own, the Kentucky Republican has routinely shared some of his very odd beliefs with the public.
For example, the senator is now worried about doughnuts.
Sen. Rand Paul warned Americans that the federal government is targeting doughnuts, the latest example of the oppressive nanny state in America.“They’re coming after your doughnuts!” the Kentucky Republican said, referring to the Food and Drug Administration decision to ban trans fats…. Paul’s remarks came during a speech at The Charleston Meeting in South Carolina Monday night.
He went on to argue, “The FDA has banned unilaterally – some unelected bureaucrat has banned trans fats…. If we’re gonna have a nanny state, and everybody’s gotta eat the right thing and you can’t eat a doughnut, maybe we ought to just enforce it on the government workers first.”
In case anyone’s concerned about whether Paul’s argument has substantive merit, let’s set the record straight. As Jon Chait explained, “They are not, in fact, coming after your doughnuts. Trans fats are not essential to make doughnuts or, really, anything. Some restaurants still use trans fats because, even though they’re incredibly bad for you, they’re longer-lasting and slightly cheaper than other oils, and very few customers would ever know the difference. But Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme, and many others have already eliminated trans fats, and customers have detected no difference in taste…. FDA officials are phasing out a dangerous substance at no cost to people’s ability to eat tasty food.”
And while that’s certainly important, the larger context suggests no one should be surprised by Paul’s strange beliefs. We are, after all, talking about a senator who believes the Obama administration is conspiring with the United Nations to “confiscate and destroy all ‘unauthorized’ civilian firearms”; there was a secret gun-running scheme that shipped weapons from Libya to Turkey; gun-toting meteorologists are stockpiling ammunition; and the Obama administration is responsible for problems with Paul’s toilet.
While we’re at it, Chait added, “[I]n the imaginary world in which Rand Paul spends most of his time … the IRS has hired 16,000 new IRS agents to enforce Obamacare, Obama is giving away free phones, Medicaid is bankrupting Kentucky hospitals, and all sorts of other terrible things that aren’t actually happening are happening.”
Given all of this, does it really come as a shock that he’s under the false impression that the FDA is “coming after your doughnuts”?